Part Two: Supper with the Bad Kings
Then one day the Queen decided to take a rest from banquets. All the kitchen workers were allowed to go on a paid holiday. One by one they all left, till only Sandy remained. His family lived far away so it would be a couple of days yet before his mammy came to fetch him. Sandy had the kitchen all to himself, to play in and eat whatever he liked.
That night he put a big bowl of trifle outside the back door and then went up to his bed. But just as he was falling asleep somebody began shaking him. His blankets were pulled off as a voice cried out. “Quick, quick, you must get up!”
Sandy opened his eyes and was amazed to see the Queen herself. He had never seen the Queen so close before. Normally Sandy would only see the Queen at banquets, where she would be dressed in golden silks bejewelled with rubies and emeralds. Now, however, she was in his bedroom, wearing only a dressing gown, and with her hair in curlers.
“The two Bad Kings have just arrived at the palace with all their Knights,” said the Queen, “and they all look angry and hungry.” Sandy knew a bit about royal traditions. If a King turns up at your door you have to give him a banquet, even if he had not told you he was coming. “What will we do”, sighed the queen? “If we don’t feed them I am sure they will start fighting this very evening.”
Little Sandy stood up as tall and proud as he could. “Don’t worry,” he said, smiling bravely, “If you keep them talking I’ll go down to the kitchen and cook up food fit for Kings.” So the queen hurried off to change into her royal dining clothes and Sandy went down to the big kitchen.
Sandy had watched the chefs cook many times and felt certain he could make a proper meal. He lit the oven and looked in the press. There was plenty of flour, raisins, eggs and sugar – that would do for a big cake. There were also enough potatoes, tomatoes, peas and turnips to make a massive stew. But while there was enough food, there was only one Sandy to do all the work.
As well as cooking he had to get knifes and forks and drinking goblets up to the banqueting hall. He also had to look out the finest cups and saucers and bowls and dishes. “I’ll never be able to do it all” he cried. As tears began to fill his eyes, he could hear the bad Kings and their Knights stamping their feet and shouting, “We want food! We want food!
Just then there was a knock at the back door. Sandy opened it but there was no one there. He looked all around, but saw only the trees before him, and the stars twinkling high up in the night sky. Then he looked down and saw, resting on the doorstep, a massive cauldron filled with thick vegetable broth.
Now read: Sandy and the Unicorn. Part Three